Online Courses May Be Your Best Bet to Learn Tech

Online Courses May Be Your Best Bet to Learn Tech

I recently received an e-mail from Coursera explaining the in-demand skills employers are looking for, and how Coursera could help me acquire them.

Receiving the e-mail reminded me of the courses LinkedIn is now offering through LinkedIn Learning, its re-branded version of the courses. So, I Googled LinkedIn Learning and found a list of in-demand skills employers are looking for.

You would think that it would be colleges providing a way for students to acquire such skills, but it’s organizations, like LinkedIn, Coursera, and others, are stepping in not only to identify the skill sets employers need in their new (and old) hires, but also to provide a cost-effective way for employees to learn those skills.

Can Colleges Keep Up?


I glanced at the skills listed, and though they weren’t tech heavy, tech was definitely represented both in Coursera’s e-mail and on the LinkedIn Learning web page.

Our tech editor, Samara Lynn, had recently sent me interesting information along these lines. Woo, a platform that connects employees that are passively–as opposed to actively–looking for a new employment opportunity, recently completed an analysis that examined the education of those who possess tech skills. The results may surprise you.

According to the Woondex analysis:

  • 91.5% of tech pros from schools tier-two or lower had nine or more skills, such as Java, Angular.js, AI, etc.
  • Only 8.5% of tech pros from top-tier schools had similar skill sets

The numbers were similar for candidates who had fewer skills:

  • 89% from the tier-two or lower-tier schools
  • 11% from the top-tier schools

Students, Take the Initiative!


Although the Woo analysis compares top-tier schools with lower-tier, and gives lower-tier schools a higher grade, others say colleges just aren’t nimble enough to keep up, period–at least not in tech.

“College is about getting liberal arts skills, the soft skills, the public speaking skills,” says Nathaniel J., our Silicon Valley-based tech editor. But as far as tech skills?

“Professors aren’t in the field working and doing,” he says. “It’s rare for professors to be developing apps. Students cannot rely on the university to get the skills they need. Instead, they need to be proactive.”

He recommends that students take advantage of coursework offered by platforms like Thinkful, which recently partnered with Black Enterprise and Nathaniel J. to offer a full scholarship to students interested in learning to become a full-stack developer.

For more information about the BEtechThinkful scholarship, click here.